What does Stairway To Heaven mean?

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Led Zeppelin: Stairway To Heaven Meaning

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Stairway To Heaven Lyrics

There's a lady who's sure
All that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to Heaven
When she gets there she knows
If the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh ooh and she's buying a stairway to...

  1. anonymous
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    Mar 29th 2009 report

    My interpretation is similar to a lot of others prior to this one I know I didn't look up any of the bible references I put on there but I'm sure they would be easy to find if you guys are curious to look them up.... well there are most definitely many interpretations of this song and I think that's the beauty of it and it could mean something different to everybody who listens to this song that could be why this song has lasted through the ages and hopefully will continue to be passed on to future generations to enjoy

    Theres a lady whos sure (represents the average materialistic human being)

    All that glitters is gold (tangigible material things are spriritually valuable)

    And she's buying a stairway to heaven. (trying to buy her way into heaven which is pretty obvious)

    When she gets there she knows (points out next couple lines)

    If the stores are all closed (she can't sell her belongings to get to heaven by bribing or what not)

    With a word she can get what she came for. (if she can't buy her way into heaven the "word" of god can get her in)

    Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven.

    Theres a sign on the wall (signs give direction in this case the sign is the bible which is the "guide" to eternal life in heaven)

    But she wants to be sure (she is not sure what the bible means)

    cause you know sometimes words have two meanings. (parables or various interpretations expressed by the various religions that are different and yet claim the bible to be their basis)

    In a tree by the brook (jesus on the cross I guess is by the brook or river where he was baptized... not sure on that one)

    Theres a songbird who sings, (Jesus)

    Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven. (not really sure on this one I guess that we can change even what jesus says into what we want)

    Ooh, it makes me wonder,
    Ooh, it makes me wonder.

    Theres a feeling I get

    When I look to the west, (sun is setting on their lifetime)

    And my spirit is crying for leaving. (for heaven)

    In my thoughts I have seen

    Rings of smoke through the trees, (smoke comes from fire or hell in the forest which is dark and represents evil or the temptation of leaving the path to heaven)

    And the voices of those who standing looking. (I don't know who those people are... maybe they are the tempters)

    Ooh, it makes me wonder,
    Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

    And its whispered that soon (secrecy)

    If we all call the tune (follow our hearts)

    Then the piper will lead us to reason. (idk who the piper is I've heard he is jesus and I have heard he's the pied piper who leads the children astray in the mith.... Hopefully its jesus in this case leading the world on the right path)

    And a new day will dawn (afterlife)

    For those who stand long (those are nearing the end of their life, long shadow, or have had a lot of sin and their shadow is long and they have done many wrongs in their life that need to be forgiven)

    And the forests will echo with laughter. (if the forests are evil I guess that they believe that these sinners are unable to release their earthly pleasures and repent for their sins)

    If there's a bustle in your hedgerow (everyday temptation)

    Dont be alarmed now, (dont worry)

    Its just a spring clean for the may queen. (you can get through it with mary (mary's feast month thing is may) or religion)

    Yes, there are two paths you can go by (heaven/hell)

    But in the long run (by the time you die)

    Theres still time to change the road you're on. (obvious repenting for sins)

    And it makes me wonder.

    Your head is humming and it won't go (conscience bothering you because you have wronged)

    In case you don't know,

    The pipers calling you to join him, (jesus wants everybody to go to heaven) (my other interpretation of these few lines is that "your head is humming" is temptation and the piper could be satan or deciet or whatever)

    Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow,

    And did you know

    Your stairway lies on the whispering wind. (either cannot be achieved or is very difficult to achieve like in the bible where it was something about it is easier to fit a camel through the eye of a needle than a rich man (or woman) to get into heaven)

    And as we wind on down the road (work our way to the end of our lives)

    Our shadows taller than our soul. (our sin is greater than our virtues)

    There walks a lady we all know (mary)

    Who shines white light and wants to show (white light represents a revelation or bringing new clarity or another viewpoint)

    How evrything still turns to gold. (hope that you will not neccessarily go to hell if you repent now)

    And if you listen very hard (try your hardest to follow the word of god... possibly your hearts interpretation of this word)

    The tune will come to you at last. (your interpretation of the bible)

    When all are one and one is all (I don't know)

    To be a rock and not to roll. (have a sturdy foundation on jesus (the rock))

    And she's buying a stairway to heaven.

  2. anonymous
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    Feb 26th 2009 report

    I always took this song kinda literally. There's a lady who's going to die, and she's trying to find a way into heaven before she goes.

  3. anonymous
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    Feb 11th 2009 report

    Theres a lady whos sure

    There's a lady that believes the church is the path to salvation.

    She gives importance to things which do not have it, missing the truly important ones.

    Clue for the "backward lyrics", and to look deeply into the normal lyrics.

    References to Jesus. Urges the listener to "wonder" (IOW: ponder carefully).

    West = where the sun sets. Death. The End.


    The piper = Jesus
    The tune = what He preached

    The New Earth. "Heaven on Earth", for those that have survived Tribulation.

    You can still be saved if you correct your ways.

    The May Queen = ?

    Very fishy, strangely sounding, strangely worded paragraph (remember that "words have two meanings"?).

    You can't ignore the calling of Jesus. You know you're not doing what you should do.

    Wind = power of Jesus. Truth.

    Full of sin and despair. Almost irredeemable, down in the path to "hell".

    If you try hard at understanding the true message of Christ, you will achieve it.

    Humanity united. Everyone is connected. No more sin. Strong but not abusive. Heaven on Earth.

    Lady we know = ?

    *** hidden lyrics ***
    Oh... Here's my sweet Satan; the one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is sacred.
    He will give those with him 666.
    And then, there was bloodshed, he made us suffer, sad Satan.


    Satan = Lucifer (before he fell). Lucifer is worshiped in the month of May.

    What could all this mean? Oh, it makes me wonder...

  4. Herself
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    Feb 3rd 2009 report

    ... and to carry on with my interpretation... (no idea where I read this) But there are a group of people who think that "Lucifer" is really a light skinned blonde woman. Lucifer of course being "The Light Bringer". Not just Light as in brightness, but also of itelligence. (Remember how stupid Adam and Eve were in the beginning and how the friut they ate gave them knowledge? Who gave Eve the idea to eat it...)

    All in all though, It's a song. Just a song. A well written one that drives guitar shop owners nuts, but just a song all the same.

  5. Herself
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    Feb 3rd 2009 report

    Oh, and by the way, someone said that "If there's a bustle in your hedgegrow-don't be alarmed now. Its just a springclean for the mayqueen" didn't actually mean anything and that it was because of what it supposed to sound like backwards. This is bull. There were hidden messages, but they were played forwards for all to here. Words have 2 meanings, anyone??? The quote above from the song can be interpreted as: If something crap happens in your life, don't worry because it's small in the grand scale of things. I seriously wonder where most of you come from to be so misguided. Yes, it IS about religion... well... the absence of it anyway. How we don't need it.

  6. Herself
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    Feb 3rd 2009 report

    There has to be a reason why Kenneth Anger said that this was the "Most Santanic Song they've ever done". Surely. And he meant it as a kind of compliment. (Kind of back-handed, because he wanted Page to do the soundtrack to Lucifer Rising but fell out with him and used someone else instead.)

  7. anonymous
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    Jan 2nd 2009 report

    Aleister Crowley. Another thing that Crowley emphasized to his readers was that musicians in Magick would be able to be 'musical mediums'. When speaking of “Stairway to Heaven", Robert Plant claimed to be a 'musical medium'. He said the following about how he received the lyrics to the song: Plant recalled.

    "“ ‘I was just sitting there with Pagey in front of a fire at Headley Grange. Pagey had written these chords and he played them for me. I was holding a pencil and paper and for some reason, I was in a very bad mood. Then all of a sudden my hand was writing out the words: “There’s a lady who’s sure, all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a Stairway to Heaven.” I just sat there and I looked at the words and I almost leapt out of my seat.’”4

    In 1998, the year when Page and Plant conducted their last world tour, Jimmy Page said the following (taken from the Atlantic Records web site): “When we first got back together, it was so immediately apparent that the two of us were just channeling the music. That’s what we had always had, and it was so apparent that it was there. It was almost effortless.”

    When commenting on the production of the album with Stairway to Heaven on it, Page made the following statement in the January 2002 issue of Guitar World Magazine: “If something really magical is coming through, then you follow it....We tried to take advantage of everything that was being offered to us.” In their channeling of the music and lyrics to Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin presented the concept of worshiping the male/female godhead of the Qabalah, as taught to them by Aleister Crowley, believing that Lucifer is the god all over the world, irrespective of the name (except Christ), and that he has a female consort in the form of light. Understanding this occult belief, you will then understand these lyrics:

    “There walks a lady we all know, who shines white light and wants to show….” (Lucifer's female consort!)

    The god form that they want the rock fan to worship in the song is Pan the Piper, the Greek God of the forests, who again, was presented by Aleister Crowley in no uncertain terms as Lucifer the Piper, the maker of music. The Holy Bible teaches that God created Lucifer as the celestial composer of music, with celestial pipes, in Ezekiel chapter 28:13. Listen as God speaks to Lucifer:

    "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." [Ezekiel 28:13]

    The word, "pipes" (Strong's #5345) clearly refers to music and to the flute, as we see when we examine the context of this same word in other Old Testament Scriptures.

    "And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them." [1 Kings 1:40]

    The Parallel Bible, the Amplified portion, reiterates that the pipes are a musical instrument:

    "All the people followed him; they played on pipes and rejoiced greatly so that the earth resounded with the joyful sound." [1 Kings 1:40]

    Finally, Jeremiah records the definitive proof that "pipes" refers to a musical instrument:

    "Therefore mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and mine heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kir-heres: because the riches that he hath gotten are perished." [Jeremiah 48:36]

    The Amplified portion of the Parallel Bible again makes the meaning crystal clear:

    "Therefore, My heart moans and sighs for Moab like flutes, and My heart moans and sighs like flutes for the men of Kir-heres; therefore, the remnant of the abundant riches they gained has perished." [Jeremiah 48:36]

    From these verses, you can easily see that God is stating that He created Lucifer as a musical being in Ezekiel 28:13. In much occult lore, the Greek god, Pan, is this musical representation of Lucifer, the god of "pipes" -- the Piper.

    The lyrics that promote this worship of Pan, in conjunction with the teaching of spiritual regeneration (spiritual rebirth – "born again Satanism") are as follows:

    “And it’s whispered that soon, if we all call the tune, then the Piper will lead us to Reason. And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter.”

    The appeal of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as a musical piece is self-evident: its lyrics seemed to embody the individual’s prevailing quest for a spiritual rebirth.”5

    In his biography of Led Zeppelin, “Hammer of the Gods – The Led Zeppelin Saga,” Steven Davis also wrote of the spiritual regeneration implicit in the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven:

    “With its starkly pagan imagery of trees and brooks, pipers and the May Queen, shining white light and the forest echoing with laughter, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ seemed like an invitation to abandon the new traditions and follow the old gods. It expressed an ineffable yearning for spiritual transformation deep in the hearts of the generation for which it was intended. In time, it became their anthem.”6

    Aleister Crowley wrote something identical to what Davis wrote in his Occult Encyclopedia of Initiation, “The Equinox”:

    “‘ARCADIA, night, a cloud, Pan, and the moon.’ What words to conjure with, what five shouts to slay the five senses, and set a leaping flame of emerald and silver dancing about us as we yell them forth under the oaks and over the rocks and myrtle of the hill - side. ‘Bruised to the breast of Pan’ - let us flee church, and chapel, and meeting room; let us abandon this mantle of order, and leap back to the heaths, and the marshes, and the hills; back to the woods, and the glades of night! Back to the old gods, and the ruddy lips of Pan!…till the glades thrill as with the music of syrinx and sistrum, and our souls are rent asunder on the flaming horns of Pan.”7

    The worship of Lucifer, in the form of Pan, was a theme through all of Aleister Crowley’s writings. Jimmy Page has always been an open student of Crowley the Black Magician, and Led Zeppelin was his band. Following the teachings of Crowley, Jimmy Page and company were successful in placing his doctrines in many of their songs

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 18th 2008 report

    OK, its not about drugs, tolken or what ever. The song has no meaning really. My guess is there's this lady that just bought a palace and she things its heaven. but she gets to connected to it and she finds out its haunted. so she wants to move out but she cant. shes trapped. now shes a ghost. then the very last line "And she's buying a Stairway to heaven" means another lady is about to move into the palace and the cycle will be started up again. but that's my guess. Plant said it had no meaning and Page said it had no meaning. Hopefully this letter will shut all of you up. Why are you arguing about rock n' roll? its meant to be enjoyed.

  9. anonymous
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    Dec 7th 2008 report

    This song means different things to different people. I believe that is what it was made for.

  10. vagelitsa
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    Dec 7th 2008 report

    This song has a lot of meanings...i think that is about of drugs that make us feel happy and forget every pain...but even then there is the right road and whe can get it...About the lady,she is not the drugs but the addict who feels to much self-confidence.It talks to the passion for freedom and a life free ofn material things.It refers to the wanting to give up a
    life of hardship and follow your heart.The realization that life is fleeting and you better get your shit together and care for others as well.Stop and listen to your heart for the answers to the trials of your life.This song is a poem

  11. nooncat
    click a star to vote
    Nov 24th 2008 report

    The "lady who's sure all that glitters is gold," and who later "shines white light and wants to show how everything still turns to gold," is an archetypal woman, found throughout lore and literature, who is trying to achieve a higher spirituality. She has the ability within her to realize that quest by using whatever means fulfill her spiritual longing, even if only for a time; once a means has served its spiritual purpose, or if it proves unfruitful - for her or for us, since the lyrics speak both to the woman and to us simultaneously - "there's still time to change the road you're on." It's about the individual's spiritual coming of age and maturation.

    The song calls the listener to abandon modern modes of spiritual journeying and to return to the old gods. The symbolism within the lyrics makes this apparant, culling heavily from ancient Celtic imagery: the forest, the tree by the brook, the May Queen, the piper, the lady shining white
    light - all are images from ancient Celtic religion. (One could, in fact, go on about the lines "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now / It's just a spring clean for the May Queen" as signifying a girl's first
    menstruation and its relationship to Beltane rituals; after all, Plant and Page did.) It's chronicled that Plant had been reading James Spence's book on Celtic magic at the time he wrote the lyrics to "Stairway to Heaven," and the
    influence of that work on the song is manifest.

  12. anonymous
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    Nov 18th 2008 report

    I always thought it was about the Lady Galadriel from the Lord of the Rings, but who am I?

  13. PeacefulRuler
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    Oct 19th 2008 report

    All songs have meaning because they have words and words have meanings, whether an author intended a particular meaning or not is up to them because they chose the words. Now the circumstances or intent by the authors of this song to just pen what ever comes to mind does NOT change the meaning that can be ascribed to these lyrics. These lyrics are either true or false they either impart hope or despair because they communicate thought through words/lyrics. It matters what YOU think. It matter what YOU believe. In everything we do on this side of life there is reason and purpose, the problem with many people is that the purpose or reasons are not considered we just live our lives day to day and never consider OUR purpose or reason for what we chose to think and believe. This lyrics of this song inspire US to consider why we do what we do, and why we think or believe. Are we like the lady who is sure? Do we unknowingly follow a Piper. There are wonderful references in this great song that should inspire us to examine our thoughts, our actions, our purpose, our faith or lack of it, whether Jimmy or Robert intended it or not. Our shadows (spirits) taller than our soul (mind, will, emotions). Use your spirit to dissect what your hear, endeavor to understand what is spoken or sung. Is it true or a lie, does it give you hope or depress you? Embrace encouragement and cling to truth (Love, Hope, Faith) it is woven in and out of many poems and songs and speeches. Just don't be naive a good lie sounds like the truth and people or "others" will try to trick you or worse you can fool yourself, SO LISTEN VERY HARD, which mean TRY to understand, CHOSE the right path and certainly enjoy the good music along the way. We should know by now that all that glitters is not gold, and in some places gold does not have any value, find treasure that has eternal worth which is had through understanding your purpose in this life. Thank you for this thread and for reading this blog I hope it challenges you understand what hear so that the tune will come to you at last. Life has meaning find it.

  14. anonymous
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    Sep 13th 2008 report

    I don't have time to read through every one of these posts but I did get to this one
    "Dudes, enough, it has dawned on me that all the talk about different paths in this song can mean only one thing; to find your own meaning/rationalization. I love this song because it can be understood so differently, like a sonic Rorschach test. Stop taking it as one absolute meaning, many of which are just moronic and poorly thought out and just LOVE THE MUSIC!"
    There are songs that are meant to have different meanings.Period. They are there for each and every person in his or her own way. They help the songwriter and they help you in your own way.

    This is not the place for me to get on my soapbox but all the "Christians" who automatically think that this song is "Satanic" because it doesn't fit into your cookie cutter world are MORONS.

  15. anonymous
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    Sep 6th 2008 report

    I've come to the conclusion that there is no possible way page or plant meant to encode some "secret" message in this song. Not to say that it's not there, because I've heard it, and its pretty creepy. I believe that the most likely scenario (if there is anything to the message at all) is far scarier.

    I've read many interpretations of the song by members of this site and some of them I have to discredit right away. There were a few people who COMPLETELY broke the song down line for line and explained a religious meaning. Although it was very interesting and well thought out, it's bogus. Page and Plant both admitted that the song really had no particular meaning and, honestly, I don't think Page would give it such a religious meaning since he is an admitted dabbler in the occult.

    I believe maybe something far more sinister might have occurred during the production of this song. Have you ever heard that an idle mind promotes evil things?(or maybe something along those lines) it makes sense to me. being religious and righteous requires constant thought to prevent yourself from evil deeds. you must constantly guard yourself against the temptation of sinning. (narrow is the path, right?) so, it makes sense that if your mind is idle, it leaves more of a chance for "evil" to enter. when musicians talk about what its like being in a band and "jamming out", they talk about the "feel" and emotion involved. I recently watched a youtube video of jimmy page speaking about his experience with led zeppelin. He spoke of unity and of four musicians coming together and feeding from an unseen energy, or a "fifth member" as he put it. I don't mean to sound like some paranoid babbling Bible beater, but this is what happens when satanists and other occultists "channel" energies or spirits or whatever. They are completely caught up in the moment(so to speak) and find themselves prodigiously stimulated by an unseen force. I don't think musicians TRY to channel this energy, it just happens. probably without them knowing. I mean, satan (or lucifer, as an angel) was the ruler of music, right? this is why some churches don't partake in musical sessions. don't' get me wrong, I love music and I am a musician, myself. but, how many times do you think music has shaped worldly youth in a negative manner? if there is any satanic influence applied to "stairway to heaven", I think it probably comes from satan himself. I don't think the writers of the song had evil intentions, even though page was somewhat of an occultist. The writers have already said that the song didn't really have a meaning, it's basically just poetry. but, in my interpretation, the song can only have a negative message, in a religious sense. I do believe the opening of the song refers to a woman who plans to kill herself by overdose. "there's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold" to me implies that she does not see the true meaning behind things. all that glitters is not gold, this is the basic principle behind sinning. Sinning feels beautiful to the sinner, if it did not, there would be no temptation. was lucifer not God's most beautiful angel? Buying a stairway to heaven clearly refers to the purchase of drugs for overdose. The next lines secure the idea: "when she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for" does that not sound like a drug deal? it insinuates that she is not coming for something to be purchased in a store, rather something she can get with one word. I'm not going to break down every line for the sake of brevity, but I would like to discuss other points. for instance, later on in the song they bring the lady back into the picture and speak of her shining white light and wanting to show how everthing still turns to gold. Insinuating that she made the right choice and wants to show all the path.

    I also think the piper refers to satan. "your head is humming and it won't go", refers to the constant temptation from satan to sin. ("the piper's calling you to join him") someone in a previous passage made reference to the book of Ephesians and the apostle Paul stating that the spirits of those who are against God are of the air("you're stairway lies on the whispering wind", refering to the lady in the opening, who eventually shines white light) and why are our shadows taller than our souls when we meet this redeemed lady? maybe our souls are small and meaningless at the end of this path that leads us to this lady shining her "white light".

    Anyway, like I said, it may just be a song without meaning, shrouded in controversy. but if not, I think its some pretty eerie stuff.

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